Justicialist Party

The Justicialist Party (Spanish: Partido Justicialista, IPA: [paɾˈtiðo xustisjaˈlista]), or PJ, is a Peronist political party in Argentina, and the largest component of the Peronist movement.[16]

Justicialist Party

Partido Justicialista
PresidentJosé Luis Gioja
General SecretarySergio Urribarri
Senate leaderMarcelo Fuentes (FPV-PJ)
Miguel Pichetto (AF-PJ)
Chamber leaderAgustín Rossi (FPV)
Pablo Kosiner (AF-PJ)
FounderJuan Perón
Founded21 November 1946 (1946-11-21)
Merger ofLabour Party
UCR Board Renewal
Independent Party[1]
Headquarters130 Matheu Street
Buenos Aires
Youth wingJuventud Peronista
Membership (2012)3,626,728[2]
Kirchnerism (majority)[8][9]
Conservatism (minority)[10][11]
Political positionThird Position (self-proclaimed)[12][13][14]
Center-left to Center-right (de facto)
National affiliationFrente de Todos (2019 coalition)
Continental affiliationChristian Democrat Organization of America[15]
International affiliationCentrist Democrat International
Colors     Light blue      White
Anthem"Peronist March"
Seats in the Senate
36 / 72
Seats in the Chamber of Deputies
91 / 257
14 / 24

It is currently the main opposition party. Former presidents Carlos Menem, Eduardo Duhalde, Néstor Kirchner and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner have been elected from this party. Justicialists have been the largest party in the Congress covering nearly the entire period since 1987.

The Justicialist Party is the largest party in the Congress; however, this does not reflect the divisions within the party over the role of Kirchnerism, the left-wing populist faction of the party, which is opposed by the dissident Peronists, the right-wing conservative faction of the party, who run in different election lists.

Party history

The Justicialist Party was founded in 1947 by Juan and Evita Perón, and superseded the Labour Party on which Perón had been elected a year earlier. Following the enactment of women's right to vote in 1948, the Peronist Women's Party, led by the First Lady, was also established. All Peronist entities were banned from elections after 1955, when the Revolución Libertadora overthrew Perón, and civilian governments' attempt to lift Peronism's ban from legislative and local elections in 1962 and 1965 resulted in military coups.[17]

Basing itself on the policies espoused by Juan Perón as president of Argentina, the party's platform has from its inception centered around populism, and its most consistent base of support has historically been the CGT, Argentina's largest trade union. Perón ordered the mass nationalization of public services, strategic industries, and the critical farm export sector, while enacting progressive labor laws and social reforms, and accelerating public works investment.[17]

His tenure also favored technical schools while harassing university staff, and promoted urbanization as it raised taxes on the agrarian sector. These trends earned Peronism the loyalty of much of the working and lower classes, but helped alienate the upper and middle class sectors of society. Censorship and repression intensified, and following his loss of support from the influential Catholic Church, Perón was ultimately deposed in a violent 1955 coup.[17]

The alignment of these groups as pro or anti-Peronist largely endured, though the policies of Peronism itself varied greatly over the subsequent decades, as did, increasingly, those put forth by its many competing figures. During Perón's exile, it became a big tent party united almost solely by their support for the aging leader's return. A series of violent incidents, as well as Perón's negotiations with both the military regime and diverse political factions, helped lead to his return to Argentina in 1973, and to his election.[18]

An impasse followed in which the PJ had a place both for leftist armed organizations such as Montoneros, and far-right factions such as José López Rega's Argentine Anti-Communist Alliance. Following Perón's death in 1974, however, this tenuous understanding disintegrated, and a wave of political violence ensued, ultimately resulting in the March 1976 coup. The Dirty War of the late 1970s, which cost hundreds of Peronists (among thousands more) their lives, solidified the party's populist outlook, particularly following the failure of conservative Economy Minister José Alfredo Martínez de Hoz's free trade and deregulatory policies after 1980.[18]

In the first democratic elections after the end of the dictatorship of the National Reorganization Process, in 1983, the Justicialist Party lost to the Radical Civic Union (UCR). Six years later, it returned to power with Carlos Menem, during whose term the Constitution was reformed to allow for presidential reelection. Menem (1989–1999) adopted neoliberal right-wing policies which changed the overall image of the party.[19]

The Justicialist Party was defeated by a coalition formed by the UCR and the centre-left FrePaSo (itself a left-wing offshoot of the PJ) in 1999, but regained political weight in the 2001 legislative elections, and was ultimately left in charge of managing the selection of an interim president after the economic collapse of December 2001. Justicialist Eduardo Duhalde, chosen by Congress, ruled during 2002 and part of 2003.[19]

The 2003 elections saw the constituency of the party split in three, as Carlos Menem, Néstor Kirchner (backed by Duhalde) and Adolfo Rodríguez Saá ran for the presidency leading different party coalitions. After Kirchner's victory, the party started to align behind his leadership, moving slightly to the left.[20][21]

The Justicialist Party effectively broke apart in the 2005 legislative elections when two factions ran for a Senate seat in Buenos Aires Province: Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (then the first lady) and Hilda González de Duhalde (wife of former president Duhalde). The campaign was particularly vicious. Kirchner's side allied with other minor forces and presented itself as a heterodox, left-leaning Front for Victory (FpV), while Duhalde's side stuck to older Peronist tradition. González de Duhalde's defeat to her opponent marked, according to many political analysts, the end to Duhalde's dominance over the province, and was followed by a steady defection of his supporters to the winner's side.

Néstor Kirchner proposed the entry of the party into the Socialist International in February 2008. His dominance of the party was undermined, however, by the 2008 Argentine government conflict with the agricultural sector, when a bill raising export taxes was introduced with presidential support. Subsequent growers' lockouts helped result in the defection of numerous Peronists from the FpV caucus, and further losses during the 2009 mid-term elections resulted in the loss of the FpV absolute majorities in both houses of Congress.[22]


From its foundation the Justicialist Party has been a Peronist catch-all party,[23] which focuses on the figure of Juan Perón and his wife Eva.

From 1974 to 1976, under the leadership of Isabel Peron, the Justicialist Party is no longer characterized by anti-imperialist and revolutionary tones, but by a strong focus on anti-communism (of which it became the main bulwark in South America) and the support of neoliberalism. This line continued even after the military dictatorship of the National Reorganization Process, with the Government of Carlos Menem until that of Eduardo Duhalde. From the return of Peron in 1973 until the party moved from the Third Position left-wing party to a centre-right party, while rival Radical Civic Union acted as a centre-left party.

Since 2003 the party has undergone an abrupt turnaround, with the rise of a faction known as the "Front for Victory", led by Néstor Kirchner. The policies and ideology of this faction was dubbed "Kirchnerismo", a mix of socialism, left-wing nationalism and radicalism. Néstor Kirchner was elected President of Argentina, becoming popular in a short time. After his death, his wife Cristina Fernández took over the leadership of the Front for Victory, which continues to be a major faction of the Justicialist Party, with the head of the party being Eduardo Fellner.

Electoral history

Presidential elections

Election year Candidate(s) First Round Second Round Result Note
# votes % vote # votes % vote
1951 Juan Perón 4,745,168 63.40 Y Elected as the Peronist Party
1958 no candidate (banished)
1963 no candidate (banished)
M-1973 Héctor Cámpora 5,907,464 49.56 Y Elected as the Justicialist Party part of the Justicialist Liberation Front
S-1973 Juan Perón 7,359,252 61.85 Y Elected part of the Justicialist Liberation Front
1983 Ítalo Lúder 5,944,402 40.16 N Defeated 247 Electoral College seats
1989 Carlos Menem 7,953,301 47.49 Y Elected 325 Electoral College seats, part of the Popular Justicialist Front
1995 Carlos Menem 8,687,319 49.94 Y Elected Joint-ticket (PJ—UCeDé)
1999 Eduardo Duhalde 7,254,417 38.27 N Defeated part of the Justicialist Coalition for Change
2003 Carlos Menem 4,740,907 24.45 null 0 N 2nd-R Forfeited Front for Loyalty a faction of PJ
Néstor Kirchner 4,312,517 22.24 null 0 Y 2nd-R Unopposed Front for Victory a faction of PJ
Adolfo Rodríguez Saá 2,735,829 14.11 N 1st-R Defeated Front of the Popular Movement a faction of PJ
2007 Cristina Kirchner 8,651,066 45.29 Y Elected part of the Front for Victory Alliance
Alberto Rodríguez Saá 1,458,955 7.64 N Defeated part of the Justice, Union and Liberty Front Alliance
2011 Cristina Kirchner 11,865,055 54.11 Y Elected Front for Victory a faction of PJ
2015 Daniel Scioli 9,338,449 37.08 12,198,441 48.60 N 2-R Defeated part of the Front for Victory Alliance
2019 Alberto Fernández 12,473,709 48.10 Y Elected part of the Everyone's Front Alliance

Congressional elections

Chamber of Deputies

Election year votes % seats won Total seats Position Presidency Note
1948 64.1
109 / 158
Majority Juan Perón (PP) as the Peronist Party
1951 63.5
135 / 149
Majority Juan Perón (PP) as the Peronist Party
1954 4,977,586 62.96
161 / 173
Majority Juan Perón (PJ) as the Peronist Party
1958 null 0 0
0 / 187
Banned Pedro Eugenio Aramburu (de facto)
1960 null 0 0
0 / 192
Banned Arturo Frondizi (UCRI)
1962 1,592,446 17.53
23 / 192
Minority Arturo Frondizi (UCRI) as Unión Popular
16 / 192
Minority José María Guido (UCRI) as Unión Popular and other pro-Justicialist
1965 2,833,528
(UP only)
(UP only)
52 / 192

(UP only)
Minority Arturo Umberto Illia (UCRP) as Unión Popular and other pro-Justicialist
1973 5,908,414 48.7
144 / 243
Majority Alejandro Agustín Lanusse (de facto) as Justicialist Party part of the Justicialist Liberation Front
1983 5,697,610 38.5
56 / 127
111 / 254
Minority Reynaldo Bignone (de facto)
1985 5,259,331 34.3
55 / 127
101 / 254
Minority Raúl Alfonsín (UCR)
1987 6,649,362 41.5
60 / 127
108 / 254
Minority Raúl Alfonsín (UCR)
1989 7,324,033 42.9
65 / 127
126 / 254
Minority Raúl Alfonsín (UCR) part of the Popular Justicialist Front
1991 6,288,222 40.2
62 / 127
116 / 257
Minority Carlos Menem (PJ)
1993 6,946,586 42.5
64 / 127
127 / 257
Minority Carlos Menem (PJ)
1995 7,294,828 43.0
68 / 127
131 / 257
Majority Carlos Menem (PJ)
1997 6,267,973 36.3
50 / 127
118 / 257
Minority Carlos Menem (PJ)
1999 5,986,674 32.3
51 / 127
101 / 257
Minority Carlos Menem (PJ)
2001 5,267,136 37.5
67 / 127
121 / 257
Minority Fernando de la Rúa (UCR—Alianza)
2003 5,511,420 35.1
62 / 127
129 / 257
Majority Eduardo Duhalde (PJ)
2005 6,883,925 40.5
80 / 128
140 / 257
Majority Néstor Kirchner (PJ-FPV)
2007 5,557,087 45.6
82 / 127
162 / 257
Majority Néstor Kirchner (PJ-FPV)
2009 5,941,184 30.3
44 / 127
110 / 257
Minority Cristina Kirchner (PJ-FPV)
2011 12,073,675 58.6
86 / 130
130 / 257
Majority Cristina Kirchner (PJ-FPV)
2013 12,702,809 55.4
47 / 127
133 / 257
Majority Cristina Kirchner (PJ-FPV)
2015 8,797,279 37.4
59 / 127
95 / 257
Minority Cristina Kirchner (PJ-FPV)
2017 5,265,069 21.0
25 / 127
68 / 257
Minority Mauricio Macri (PRO-Cambiemos) as Citizen's Unity

Senate elections

Election year votes % seats won Total seats Position Presidency Note
40 / 72
Majority Fernando de la Rúa (UCR-Alianza)
2003 1,852,456 40.7
18 / 24
41 / 72
Majority Eduardo Duhalde (PJ)
2005 3,572,361 45.1
18 / 24
45 / 72
Majority Néstor Kirchner (PJ-FPV)
2007 1,048,187 45.6
14 / 24
48 / 72
Majority Néstor Kirchner (PJ-FPV)
2009 756,695 30.3
8 / 24
34 / 72
Minority Cristina Kirchner (PJ-FPV)
2011 5,470,241 54.6
12 / 24
43 / 72
Majority Cristina Kirchner (PJ-FPV)
2013 1,608,846 32.1
14 / 24
40 / 72
Majority Cristina Kirchner (PJ-FPV)
2015 2,336,037 32.7
11 / 24
39 / 72
Majority Cristina Kirchner (PJ-FPV)
2017 3,785,518 32.7
9 / 24
36 / 72
Minority Mauricio Macri (PRO—Cambiemos)
13 / 24
39 / 72
Majority Alberto Fernández (PJ)


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